<
>

HOF: Cris Carter will have to wait another year

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
We'll have more on the NFC North's newest Hall of Fame member, Minnesota guard Randall McDaniel, a bit later. For now, let's have a few words on another snub for former Vikings receiver Cris Carter.

Carter was arguably the second-best receiver of his era, after San Francisco's Jerry Rice. But for the second consecutive year, 80 percent of the Hall of Fame voters didn't agree that he deserved to be immortalized in Canton, Ohio. Why? In my somewhat educated opinion, receivers seem to have a tough time in Hall voting because of the relatively few times they touch the ball during the course of a game.

A great year for a receiver is 96 catches. That's an average of six per game over a 16-game season. Six receptions account for about 8.5 percent of an average 70-play game. That means someone else is moving the ball the other 91.5 percent of the time.

That's not the fault of the receiver, but I think it accounts for some of the reluctance among voters when it comes to Carter. Washington's Art Monk waited a long time to be enshrined, and Buffalo receiver Andre Reed was again denied entrance on Saturday.

Carter did everything he could to maximize his production as a receiver, keeping himself in excellent physical shape and playing through enough nicks and bruises to appear in 220 of a possible 224 games during his 14-year ride with the Vikings. He is the only receiver to have two consecutive 120-catch seasons. Carter was as productive and reliable as any receiver in NFL history, and eventually he will find his way to Canton. Just not this year.